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Toy Story Gone Wild | CHILD’S PLAY (2019): Review

Chucky (Mark Hamill) and Andy (Gabriel Bateman) work up a bromance in CHILD’S PLAY (2019) | © ORION 2019

Playtime isn’t over!

When mention of a CHILD’S PLAY reboot popped, the typical “why?” mentality followed. A series with 7 movies in the can had run its course. Therefore, yeah, why another? Other than trying to cash in on a classic, there wasn’t really a purpose for it. But it’s the way Hollywood rolls these days. So, I guess we can shrug off the “why?” wonder.

I still recall going to the movies with my brothers, cousin and two friends back in ‘88 when the original hit. I was 14 then and it was a crazy movie experience at the time. Especially in an era when its already slasher franchises and leads seemed untouchable. But Chucky (voiced by Brad Dourif) proved visceral badassery comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It was new, bold and awesome.

Solidifying himself a spot in Hollywood’s slash-of-fame… Chucky was a cool killer doll before killer dolls were cool! (Ya hear, Annabelle?) Here we are 31 years later and we’re still talking about the freaky little guy… I mean, toy!

If you know the story of CHILD’S PLAY, there’s no need to get into it. However, if you don’t, in this modern-day take where technology talks and bullshit walks, it’s inevitable something will go wrong, right? Hence the updated version of CHILD’S PLAY (2019) which follows Karen (Aubrey Plaza), a single mother who purchases a gift for her lonely son Andy (Gabriel Bateman). That gift… a Buddi doll that uploads a little more than good intensions.

Let’s be honest, it wasn’t until the reveal of Mark Hamill voicing Chucky that this title piqued any kind of interest. The man’s track-record speaks for itself and if he’s able to carry a high level of cynicism as he does with the animated Joker, why not Chucky? It’s gotta be fun, right? And surprisingly, that’s exactly what CHILD’S PLAY (2019) turned out to be.

Fast-paced and sticking to the original’s formula, its AI-gone-wrong updated narrative rides on a sinister wave of horrid outcomes that carry just as much brutality as it does dark humor, adding pizzazz of sadistic swag to our favorite tiny toy of terror. It’s a Wi-Fi side-effect of misery that inspires this evil little shit, rather than voodoo. And as ridiculous as a lot of the film’s layout is, the best thing about it is the movie knows it’s over-the-top and doesn’t really take itself seriously.

The violence, in turn, is harder and a lot more graphic this time around. In a story where it doesn’t matter whether you’re a pre-teen or an elder, if this version of Chucky has it in for you, you’re a target he refuses to delete. Everyone in the cast serves up entertainment in a lot of ways, making CHILD’S PLAY (2019) enjoyable on many angles. Especially the kids! The relationship between them and Chucky is quite humorous considering how disturbing it comes across at times – and that’s part of the fun. The movie serves up classic slasher pleasantries with a heavy touch of tech. If Apple, and Amazon had a lovechild, Chucky (2019) would be their offspring.

If you’re a fan of the franchise, give it a shot. It’s a nostalgic feeling of yesteryears best in gigabyte form. 


Grade: B / Genre: Horror, Remake / Rated: R / Run Time: 1:28

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, and Mark Hamill (as the voice of Chuky)

Directed by Lars Klevberg


© ORION 2019